Picking a paint color for your house is a big decision. But the funny thing is, your neighbors have to look at the color you pick more than you do. So why not let them choose? That’s what this family did: They posted a photo online showing all the colors, and thousands of people voted! Voters who didn’t like any of the colors could suggest their own. For their neighbors’ sake, hopefully “hot pink” or “highlighter yellow” wasn’t a winner!

*Wee ones: *Look at the picture. How many vertical (up-and-down) white stripes of paint can you count on the house separating the colors?

*Little kids: *If “Wild Orchid” gets 7 votes and “Blessed Blue” gets 2 more than that, how many votes does Blessed Blue get? *Bonus: *If color 1 gets 1 vote, color 2 gets 2 votes, and so on up through color 5 getting 5 votes, how many votes is all that?

*Big kids: *What if the house painters choose 2 colors? How many different pairs could they make from the 5 colors? Use a, b, c, d, and e to name and combine the colors. *Bonus:* If 11 people in this neighborhood vote, but 12 times as many people as that in the rest of the city vote, how many people in the rest of the city vote for their favorite color?

Answers:

*Wee ones: *We count 6 white stripes!

*Little kids: *9 votes, because 7 + 2 = 9. *Bonus: *15 votes! You might’ve noticed you can pair off numbers to make 5s: 4 + 1 and 3 + 2, and one more 5 makes 15.

*Big kids: *10 pairs: ab, ac, ad, ae, bc, bd, be, cd, ce, and de.* Bonus: *132 people in the rest of the city vote. You can use partial products: 12 x 11 = 10 x 11 + 2 x 11 = 110 + 22 + 132.